WHAT A YEAR!

We are wrapping up the year twenty-thirteen and we are sad, yet excited that it is soon coming to an end; because that means with a new year comes more prospects for new ideas, creativity and adventure! For us, this year has seen many milestones and achievements that we are truly humbled and proud to have had come our way. 

When we entered the Asian markets, we would have never imagined the amount of support and positivity we would get from our friends over on that side of the world! Our game collaboration with GungHo was very exciting and seemed like such a natural fit due to the similarities we have in values and our ideas on the future of gaming. Entering the Japanese market was definitely a huge step for us!

Amid that successful collaboration, came one of the biggest milestones Supercell has seen thus far. And this came with the strategic investment and partnership with Softbank and GungHo. With this deal comes a greater sense of independence where we can continue to create amazing games and get closer and closer to becoming a truly global gaming company.

One of the most evident realizations from the year, was knowing that the people who work here at Supercell are not just co-workers, but true friends and confidants. We have seen amazing friendships flourish in these office walls and it can be directly related to the amount of time we spend together and the different adventures we have taken as a team. Like when we ALL took a little bonding trip to Spain, or the after-work activities available at the office or when the Supercellians from our San Francisco, Tokyo and Seoul offices come to Helsinki to work with us and of course hangout!

And not to forget.. We have had the privilege to participate, sponsor and/or host some of the industries- both gaming and startup- biggest networking events like Assembly, IGDA, Slush and Free Your Play! A special thanks, again, to all those who shared the fun with us at these events. ☺

But, if we were to pinpoint our top achievement, it would have to be the days we celebrated the 1-year anniversaries for Clash of Clans and Hay Day!!! And, what a great feeling it is to continuously see these two games be apart of the lives of millions of people around the world! It has truly been an honor and privilege to have such great supporters, players and super fans on our side! We would not be here without you.

With that said, we wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year!

The night we defined what teamwork means

Who you gonna call when you run out of booze at the party you are organizing? Definitely not the Ghostbusters! Who you gonna call? The people you work with, of course! Go Supercellians!

The night of the Slush after-party hosted by Supercell, everything was according to plan until we got information from the organizers that about half of the intended beverages were not delivered! And nothing get Supercellians going than hearing about a potential lack of alcohol!!!! With little time before the event was supposed to start, there was no time to panic and it is then that we realized what amazing people we have here at Supercell, ready to work as a team.

People mobilized into teams of 5 and distributed themselves across Helsinki going to different supermarkets and buying all they could. Keep in mind that, in Finland, alcoholic beverages cannot be sold after 9 p.m. and with only 30 minutes to get this done, we managed buy triple the amount of beverages that were intended to be delivered that night.

With taxis and vans filled to the brim with boxes of beers and ciders, including individual cans found on shelves, the teams made their way back to the venue where even more work was awaiting them. The beverages were not going to unload themselves!

Sacrificing the start of the party, Supercellians dedicated their time to unload thousands of boxes of beers and ciders by forming effective production lines that got the work done in less than 2 hours!

We cannot be more proud of the people who took their time and energy to help rectify this situation! And it just goes to show what amazing teamwork can do!

One Step Closer

Hi Everyone,

I have some very exciting news to share with you today. We have received a strategic investment of $1.5 billion from SoftBank and GungHo. This new partnership will accelerate Supercell towards our goal of being the first truly global games company, and gives us enough time to get there.

Let me try to explain why.

The combination of tablets, mobile and the free-to-play business model has created a new market for games, one that will be accessible to billions of consumers, more people than ever before in the history of games. This truly is a new era of gaming and has opened up exciting opportunities for new kinds of companies.

At Supercell, one of our greatest aspirations is to become the first truly global games company, one that has a strong foothold in both the West and the East, including Japan, Korea and China. We want to build a company that people all over the globe will look back in 30 years and talk about all the great games that we developed and the impact they had on people’s lives. The same way I personally feel about Nintendo, for example.

This is a lofty goal and getting there takes persistence, passion, and luck – but just as importantly, it takes time, and requires a lot of patience. Even if we have had a pretty good start on our journey, it is still very early days. Creating history takes time.

The strategic investment from SoftBank helps us to accelerate towards our goal in two different ways:

1) SoftBank provides us with a massive selection of strategic resources that will help us deliver our games to hundreds of millions of new consumers all over the globe.

2) SoftBank is all about the long term. In fact, I have never met anyone who thinks as long term as its founder, Masayoshi Son, does. When we first met, he told me he has a 300-year vision, and I thought he was joking until the following day when he ran me through what it actually looks like and it is indeed very real and extremely inspirational. When you meet someone like Masa you realize what it takes to build a global business that will last forever. It further strengthened my belief that, we are just getting started. As a company, we are 3 years old so we’re only 1% done if we plan for the next 300 years.

In his own words, here’s what Masa wanted to tell our players, employees and friends about Supercell and our new partnership: 

“In our quest to become the #1 mobile Internet company, we scour the globe in search of interesting opportunities and right now some of the most exciting companies and innovations are coming out of Finland.  Supercell is one of those rare and special companies. While your success is impressive, it is your amazing culture and deep passion that truly inspired me. After getting to know Ilkka and some of the team, it became clear to me that you, like us at Softbank, are on a similar long and aspirational journey to shape the future of entertainment for the next hundred years.  And, I'm excited to see an independent Supercell continue to rise with great people and great games, delivering happiness to so many people around the world."

This new partnership also takes our collaboration with our good friends at GungHo to the next level. We are super excited to have them participate in this investment by putting in 20% of the total amount. We’ve had a great collaboration between Puzzle & Dragons and Clash of Clans. They’re an amazing bunch of people, and they have a terrific culture. Through them we’ve come to learn that the Japanese and Finnish cultures are pretty similar on many levels. Not only when it comes to taking your shoes off before you enter someone’s home, but also and more importantly, when it comes to partying, if you know what I mean.

It may sound like a detail, but I should also mention that the company that will end up owning 51% of Supercell is incorporated in Finland. This is both exciting and important for me personally. Although our aspirations are global, our roots and future are very much in Finland. Our operations remain in Finland, our management team remains in Finland and in San Francisco, and we continue to pay taxes in Finland. I think more and more people in this country are realizing that there is life after Nokia!

Naturally, this transaction is great for us from an economic perspective. As many of you know, a big part of Supercell’s culture is the idea of “we are all in this together”. In line with this thinking, everyone at the company will participate in the upside and receive a portion of the proceeds from the investment. None of us work here just for of money, but when the company succeeds, everyone should get their fair share of it and this transaction is no exception.

Although we now have a major new investor in Softbank, it is extremely important to understand that we are still in full control of our future and will continue to operate independently. In fact, and this may sound surprising to some, I feel that with this deal, we're now more independent and in control of our future than we ever have been.

Lastly, I want to thank our players, all the Supercellians, and everyone else whose support has been so valuable in getting us this far. We’ve had an amazing journey together, and it will only get more exciting in the years to come.

Thank you for reading this far. I know this was a lengthy post, but since this is such an important milestone for the company, I wanted to take the time to fully explain our thinking behind it and exactly what it means to all of you.

Now, let’s go make history together! Kippis! Kampai!

Autumn breeze..

Finland is famous for its 4 seasons and we wanted to share some Autumn imagery with you all. We call this season "ruska", which is a word that describes how the leaves of trees lose their green colour and turn into different shades of yellow, red, and orange. This autumn has been exceptionally beautiful as you can see in the photo taken by a fellow Supercellian. :)

Enjoy!

For more beautiful pictures of Autumn in Helsinki - Visit Helsinki City Tourist Information Facebook page

It’s board game time!

After-work activity: Board Games

It is slowly becoming a tradition here at the office to have weekly meet-ups to enjoy the wide variety of board games stacked in our kitchen area. And this is what our Game Designer Touko, who is one of the regular gamers, had to say about it:

1. So, where did the idea to start a board game night come about?

We wanted to have some fun and board games are of course, a super fun way to spend time! They are also a great way to socialize and get to know new people. We have quite a number of board game enthusiasts in the company so it was only a matter of time to start the regular game nights! The obvious added benefit of the game nights are that people in the company get to know modern board games better - they represent one of the purest forms of gaming after all :)

2. How long have you been doing these nights?

We have had board game sessions here and there during the last two years, but for the last few months we have been more organized and have had a game night each Thursday.

3. Are there a lot of board game enthusiasts in the company? And how many Supercellians join in on the fun, every Thursday?

Yes, we have quite many. For example, one of our employees (Stefan) is a founder of the Finnish Board Game Society (Suomen Lautapeliseura) and my own background is in board game design. We have typically 10-20 different people joining in each Thursday. Some play only a quick game or two, where as some others play the whole evening. Although there are few regulars coming almost every time, but we usually get some new people wanting to try it out.

5. What kind of games you play? More like, how do you decide what to play? Considering the growing collection of games in the kitchen! ☺

Yep, we have pretty good library of games to choose from: everything from more light and casual games like No Thanks! or Coloretto to more ‘meatier’ games like Puerto Rico or Terra Mystica. We usually have few tables going on and of course choose a game that people in that table are most interested to try out.

6. What's the best thing in board game nights?

Chilling out and having fun! :)

Team day by Team Hay Day

On a warm and sunny Friday, the Hay Day team left the office for some time to enjoy each others company outside the working space and to get to know each other a little better.

They hopped on a bus and were ready for an offsite adventure. Their first stop was for a quick and delicious lunch at a local golf club in Sipoo, a town just outside of Helsinki. After their lunch, the main event was about to start. A truck filled with old vintage mopeds was parked near the golf course. The team was about to learn how to ride on “pappamopo”. Each member of the team got into their own overall, helmets and gloves…and not to forget they got a quick course on how to drive these mopeds ☺

With the handlebars pointed towards Porvoo, the gang was ready to rumble!

As they rode off with the engines roaring and the wind whistling past them, they realized that mopeds are not the fastest rides in the world, as people on bicycles overtook them gracefully. Some mopeds broke down, one lost a headlamp, they may have lost their guides and ended up in the middle of nowhere…alone! According to the team, it was probably the most exciting moment of the trip.

Their guides suddenly appeared with thermos bottles of coffee and rye bread (ruissari, as we like to call it in Finland) because that’s a snack for old school moped riders anyway! After this hearty snack, the team made way to Porvoo where they spent the rest of the day enjoying drinks by the river accompanied by a lovely dinner at the restaurant Sinne. As night fell, it was time to head back to Helsinki, and from what we hear, the adventure ended with a game of Mölkky and a little bit of wrestling action included.  We probably do not need to know how wrestling came about and why, but that sounds like a successful team day!

Orienteering Time!

Finland is a country that is graced with thousands of lakes and populated with billions of tall birch trees. And with the beautiful and lush nature available, the Finns are able to enjoy the wonderful sport of Orienteering. What is orienteering? Well, think of it as a sport that entails navigating from one point to another using a map and compass in unfamiliar areas while moving in a rather quick pace.

So, a group of Supercellians decided to take part in the “Firmaliiga”, an orienteering competition between companies organized by the Helsingin Suunnistajat (a local orienteering club). And, with 8 enthusiasts representing the team, only 4 were allowed to take part in the actual competition, while the other 4 followed along for the fun. Who decided who will compete and who does not? We are sure the decision was based on who did not get lost in the woods! ;)

The autumn season competition was organized in 3 parts during the month of August in the local woods of the Greater Helsinki area and each time, the team collected points that were added together for the final score. The Firmaliiga has 6 divisions from A to F, and because this was the first time Team Supercell participated, they had to start from the bottom, F : )

Ready to make a name for themselves, Team Supercell made sure they brought their competitive nature as they were determined to move up to the next division. And naturally, our super-talented team ran through the woods, collected points, earned second place and took a spot in the E division.

Go team! :)

The spring season is approaching and we are sure they are excited to compete again while wearing their Supercell team shirts with pride!

Fun fact: This year the orienteering world championships were held in Finland, since, in addition to hockey and other ice sports, orienteering is one of Finland top national sports.

Hockey time!

A ragtag mixture of rookies and hardened hockey veterans from Supercell took to the ice last Tuesday to wage an epic battle, all in the name of fun. However, as with all sporting endeavors, winning at all costs was highest on the agenda. 

After getting kitted out with brand new Team Supercell hockey shirts and sticks, the teams headed out to the battlefield to face each other. The strong stench of testosterone and bad aftershave lingered in the air; you could cut the adrenaline-fueled atmosphere with a knife.

As the puck hit the ice our brave players could already imagine a crowd somewhere, anywhere, going wild. Black Team vs. White Team, Us vs. Them, Good vs. Evil, the battle of the ages.

The tempo of the game was intense, for at least the first 2 minutes. The players glanced to the bench hoping for substitution, only to find no coach and no reinforcements. 

Hockey is full of rules and referees, like any other sport. Much to the surprise of the rookie players, the referee decided that the rules were there to be followed! Either that, or he just liked the sound of his new whistle. Many, many penalties followed.

The fierce battle continued equally for two periods, until the Black Team took a narrow lead over their opponents. To keep things fair, the transfer window was opened, and star players were traded mid-match. The Norwegian Destroyer “Silent-D” changed allegiance to the Black Team, while Finnish superstar Markku went in the other direction.

All in all, the majority of the game was played in good spirits and no player was found waking up in front of a hospital breakfast.

After a closely fought match, the Black Team scored the winning goal in the dying moments of the final period, all but crushing the spirits of the White Team who had fought hard to level the tie. Eventually the game finished 11-3 to the Black Team.

Meet Camilla!

This always smiling awesome game designer joined Supercell in May 2013. Camilla is originally from Brazil, but has lived and worked in Berlin and Barcelona before moving to Finland. Camilla's creativeness doesn't just stop on being an amazing game designer, she also makes her own comic: This Quiet UR


What do you do?

I’m a game designer. I work with the artist and developer to develop new features to improve the game. I am part of a team that works well together in our “cell”. We discuss ideas and work together to implement these. As well as my game design I can also contribute to my team’s ideas. I also receive feedback from the team about how I can develop and add new features to the game.


What do you like the most about your job?

It’s very creative job, I love to be able to create all the time. My team is the best! It is such a joy to work with them everyday. I have the freedom to draw concepts and help artists. We really have a mature working environment with great communication. It builds trust within the team. Good communication and trust in the team really helps you to be creative and work well together.


Why Finland?

You can see the difference here in language level after living in Barcelona and Berlin. You can easily communicate in English here in Finland as the people are so open. And if you do not know enough Finnish, then people will still try hard to communicate and help you. Finland is very nice, quiet and safe and you gain a specific life style here. Helsinki is a safe and easygoing city. To me it’s perfect, because I’m a homely kind of person, I like the calm atmosphere of the city. It also has a great family atmosphere and is a great place to raise children.

What is the best thing about Finnish people?

I’ve only been in Finland just 3 months, so I really can’t say that I know exactly how Finnish people are, but to me they seem polite, well mannered and friendly.

Why Supercell?

I had heard so many good things about Supercell especially from my friend Drussila, who I have known for ages! We now work in the same team together. She told me that all the teams have different responsibilities and they all work well together. Other places I have worked have had a top down approach. In Supercell we do not have this you have the independence and trust from others to do what you think is right within a team.


Describe a typical Supercellian?

A supercellian is very open-minded and can listen to the ideas of others. They are really friendly and very good at what they do. They also don’t have any problems when it comes to sharing knowledge and of course they are multicultural.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Creative, Gamer, Introvert

Assembly & Supercell presents: The Super Sound of Video Games

In Finland we’re passionate about technology and games. The Assembly Festival is a great example of what this passion can create. Since 1992, the festival has brought together yearly almost 7000 young computer enthusiasts to play games, build demos, mingle, and share thoughts. The Assembly Festival is organized by a community of over 200 volunteers, who passionately arrange the unique event twice a year. The festival attracts almost 8000 visitors annually.

At Supercell we love passion, games, and the community spirit.  Also, many of our employees have been doing demo competitions as a hobby for years. This year our developers Antti Takala came second in the Demo scene competition with his LCD megademo 2 in Real Wild Demo category and Rauli Laatikainen won his category 1k Intro with his Tendrils by Traction. Congrats Antti and Rauli! ☺ In any case, the Assembly Festival is an inspiration for us and so it was a great honour to be able to sponsor a small concert at the festival - introducing The Super Sound of Video Games!

On the opening night of the festival, an opera choir, a brass ensemble and few other stellar artists rose on the stage to perform the theme songs of our favorite video games. The performance combined classics from console and computer games, ranging from the legends of the 80's Commodore 64 and Amiga classics to modern epic games, such as Halo. Not to mention the iconic songs of a couple of mobile games on the rise.

We want to thank Quinsonitus, Turun Oopperakuoro, Saana Iljin, and Stefan Stanciu for the wonderful performance and we hope the audience enjoyed the show!

Supercell’s MasterChef Matt!

Supercell is full of surprises and surprising people! One of them is our multitalented Matt, who not only is a marketing wizard but also happens to be also an amazing chef.

Us Supercellians have heard about Matt’s secret cooking skills and some of us have even experienced food à la Matt. But finally, even the wider audience was introduced to Matt’s awesome food on July 23, when he served 10(!!!!) different dishes to 30 people of mobile advertising’s finest.

It all started when Rob Crumpler from Altrooz, who happens to be quite a guitarist, found out about Matt’s hidden chef skills and suggested that they would put together a small event with good food and music. Jokingly, Matt agreed. Little did he know. It turned out that Altrooz had already booked an awesome venue and all of a sudden there was a guest list too. Sooo, Matt needed to pull together a menu, which was as follows:

1. Salmiakki Oyster Shooters - Bluepoint oysters with squid ink & fennel Gelee
2. Summer B.L.T. with cracked black pepper Aioli
3. Lobster Bisque with parmesan crisps and cheddar biscuits
4. Tuna with avocado and yuzu vinaigrette
5. Bone Marrow with roasted garlic/carmel gastrique
6. Slow roasted pork belly with orange creamsicle
7. Putine with duck confit, bordelaise sauce & truffles vs. Norwegian gravlox with sweet potato blini
8. School Lunch with chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese and peas
9. Chilled apricot soup with saffron & cardamom served with grilled peaches and mango sorbet
10. Candy Bars: Curried "peanut butter cup" and spiced thai 'snickers'

Mr. MasterChef Matt told us that the best part of the evening was working in the kitchen with some of Supercell's finest sous-chefs:  Steve, Sarah, Alex, Red, Irene, Abby & Kyla, who all pitched in to help cook, plate, wash dishes, and serve! 

The event ran smoothly without a hitch and everyone was so full they needed to be rolled out of the establishment.

Meet The Supercell Summer Workers!

You may have already heard, but Supercell is full of talented and fun people. Well, we would like to introduce you couple more of these awesome Supercellians! Meet Harri, Oona, Mikael and Carlo – Supercell Summer Workers!

All of these super nice and smiling Supercellians work in Hay Day and Clash of Clans Customer Support Teams. What it comes to life outside the Supercell, they all study in University.

 

Harri studies in Aalto University School of Business – Marketing and is part of the Customer Support Hay Day Team

Oona studies in Aalto University School of Business, Mikkeli Campus - International Business and is part of the Customer Support Hay Day Team

Mikael studies in Aalto University School of Business – Business technology and is part of the Customer Support Clash of Clans Team

Carlo studies in Turku School of Economics – Information Systems Science and is part of the Customer Support Clash of Clans Team

 

We had a little chit chat about Supercell in all..

 

Why Supercell?

O: I was told that it was hard to get into Supercell. I wanted to try and decided to apply! The company just seemed so fresh and new and I wanted to be part of it.

M: I’m a fan of Clash of Clans! I started playing during the winter 2012, played for 3 months and got interested about Supercell as a company. Positive things about Supercell made me apply for a job.

H: I started playing Hay Day last July and thought that the company making the game is really big and successful. Looking back it feels ironic, because Supercell had just launched the Hay Day less than a month earlier! Back then I was wondering how could I ever work there, but decided to apply anyway, cause I was up for the challenge and really wanted to work at Supercell.

C: I truly wanted to work in a gaming company. I was reading so much good stuff about Supercell, so that it self just pursued me to apply.

Tell a bit about your work at Supercell?

A lot of teamwork – meetings, planning, having fun together. We try our best to make players to enjoy their playtime and gaming experience. Best things are when you’ve been able to help someone and you get thank you emails back from the super happy and satisfied people. Most fun experiences are with the true fans who share their game experiences and ideas!

What do you like the most about your job?

The people who we work with, the atmosphere, bonding with my friends at work, hanging out on our free time, going to eat lunch together, just all the little things that makes it fun to work together!

If you would be asked to describe Supercell in one word, what would it be?

O: Super

M: Fresh

H: Fun

C: Friendly

What makes Supercell special?

The company really makes the employees feel that they are important and needed. Everyone at Supercell are in the same “level” - It’s true teamwork here! 

What have you learned while working in Supercell?

Patient and flexibility. For the future – how you run a successful company. It’s been a life lesson about true values of functional working ethics, teamwork, happy employees and flexible processes.

Future plans?

O: Exchange in Montreal next fall

M: Going back to school in fall – would love to work in SC while studying!

H: Exchange in Taiwan next fall – would be interested to work in SC next spring while writing masters thesis.

C: Back to Turku School of Economics to study

 

When asked about how they feel about working in Supercell in the future, everyone are nodding with a smile and say that they could totally imagine it! ☺ Thumbs up!

Free Your Play 13

June 19th was a beautiful, sunny and warm day in Helsinki, Finland. It was also a day that the first ever Free Your Play Conference & Festival took place! For us, Supercell, it was a great pleasure to act as a main sponsor for the event. Providing an afternoon with keynotes and panel discussion and nightless night full of music for developers.

Host of the evening and the latest board member of Supercell Kristian Segerstråle, opened the Free Your Play 13 Conference & Festival. Followed by Ben Cousins keynote talking about taking a long view at the entire history of the games industry.

Our friends all the way from Japan Tomo Motoyoshi and Daisuke Yamamoto had a nice fireside chat with Kristian. Chatting about GungHo, Puzzle and Dragons, gaming markets in Japan and a lot more.

The conference had it grand finale with the ultimate free-to-play panel with Tommy Palm from King, Tom Putzki from Wargaming, Daisuke Yamamoto from GunHo and Lassi Leppinen from Supercell. The discussion was moderated by the awesome Bret Terrill. The panel got the toughest questions probably from the audience, who were excited to be able to interact with the panel.

After the conference it was time to kick off the shoes and start to jam! The atmosphere was loaded with energy that was coming from the chattering people, enjoying great food and each other’s company! Music of the night was provided by Phantom, Zarkus Poussa Ensemble, Don Johnson Big Band, Fork and The Sounds ending the night.

We couldn’t be happier of the outcome of the event! We sure hope that the guests had as much fun as we did! Huge thanks for everyone attending the Free Your Play 13, it wouldn’t have been anything without a great bunch of people!

San Francisco Crew & Finland

Supercell Helsinki office was super excited to host our dear San Francisco Supercellians, when they paid a visit to Helsinki! The newbies from SF office got the chance to see where the magic happens :)

Unfortunately our fellow colleagues didn’t know pretty much anything about Finland before they came here, except that it’s pretty cold sometimes, Jallu (Jaloviina), and salmiakki (Salty Liquorice). So we really had to fix this situation.. Mostly the whole SF crew was just excited about coming to Finland and meeting everyone again after our trip to Barcelona. And of course for the first timers it was exciting to see the Supercell office and getting the Supercell gears!

Friday 21st Supercell’s San Francisco office crew hopped into cars and drove to Kotka to experience a real Finnish midsummer.  They had heard that during the summer in Finland it's all the time light outside and that midsummer is about three things: drinking, grilling meats and bonfires (precisely in that order). Luckily they had a true Supercellian Finn with them – Nicke, to show how Finnish midsummer should be celebrated!

Based on the stories from the cabin the crew had indeed enjoyed a true Finnish midsummer: good food (cooked by Matt), imaginative drinking games, adventures in the Finnish woods, roasted marshmallows in the fireplace, fun times, a lot of laughs and dance parties! Best things had been eating, slowing it down, just hanging with everyone and mainly Finnish countryside.

Finland rated by San Francisco Supercellians:

• There are days when it doesn't snow?? 
• The women are ridiculously gorgeous
• No ice in our beverages
• Everything is eaten with knife and fork
• Food ingredients are fresh
• People are genuine - they really mean what they say
• Light summer nights give you energy

When asked how they feel about Helsinki: Thumbs up! Pretty groovy city! But in overall the best part of coming to Helsinki had been the people – hanging out with the Helsinki Supercell team and learning more about the Supercell culture.

What’s the most valuable thing that you will take back to SF office?

"Well, we're kidnapping Timur. But seriously, the culture is incredible here. We've really enjoyed our time here and all of us first timers were so happy to meet everyone and see what work life is like over here.  This was truly an incredible trip!"

Family of Supercellians

Supercell first started developing games for tablets in 2011. A year ago when Hay Day beta version was launched in June, the company held only 45 employees. Today Supercell has 110 employees. Yes, it’s not that much, but our philosophy “small is the new big” is the very heart and soul of Supercell.

What does it really mean, when we talk about being small? There's no clumsy hierarchy or bureaucracy here, just exceptionally talented [super nice] people with absolute freedom to pursue their creative vision. This gives us the advantage also to take care of our own – emphasize the work-life balance and the commitment to the whole human being. This is the secret to the high-performing and happy Supercellians. Although Supercell is based on small teams, we still value the importance of true team spirit. Supercellians are not just co-workers we are a group of friends.

What do friends do then? They hang out together. And that’s what our off-site to Barcelona was all about! The past year has been an amazing trip together and Supercell wanted to thank Supercellians for the hard work and the spouses for the support they have given. And of course, as the company has grown we also needed get to know each other a little better! So there’s no better way to do it, than send a bunch of people as far from home as possible and serve them good food, let them have a great time together and give them a chance to dance the night away ;)

“Being together as a whole company and getting to know everybody out of the office. It makes it easier to talk and socialize with people from different departments of the company. Also we did things that many would not normally do...”  - Supercellian

Supercell + GungHo = Magic!

GungHo Online Entertainment and Supercell Collaborate on Each Other’s Titles, Bringing Together Two of the Largest Gaming Audiences in the World Today!

GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc., a multiplatform publisher for the online gaming community, and mobile game developer Supercell today announced they are working together to create a series of exclusive in-game features that will appear in each company’s flagship titles. Puzzle & Dragons, GungHo Online Entertainment’s monster-themed puzzle RPG for iOS and Android, will incorporate special Clash of Clans content including a themed dungeon and exclusive monsters. Clash of Clans, Supercell’s combat strategy game, and Hay Day, its popular farm simulation game, will both feature extensive cross-promotions for Puzzle & Dragons. The joint powerhouse collaboration will launch on June 24th and will run for two weeks.

“It is an honor to announce the collaboration of Puzzle & Dragons and the Supercell games, Hay Day and Clash of Clans,” said Kazuki Morishita, President/CEO and Executive Producer of GungHo Online Entertainment. “Supercell and GungHo share the same approach to game development so it seemed only natural to collaborate together. We will continuously support each other and our shared vision of delivering fun and exciting gameplay to everyone.”

A mobile gaming phenomenon, Puzzle & Dragons continues to see tremendous growth with over 14 million players in Japan as the game’s addictive combination of puzzle, dungeon crawling, and monster collecting gameplay draws in more fans. The free-to-play game from GungHo Online Entertainment continues to dominate the App Store reflected by its staying power of being #1 and also Japan’s top grossing app of all time, to date. Players capture, collect, and evolve hundreds of elemental monsters as they use quick thinking to chain combos and maximize the abilities and skills of their monsters. During the promotion, Puzzle & Dragons will showcase a special Clash of Clans-themed dungeon, where players can fight and collect Clash of Clans-themed monsters. The dungeon will have multiple difficulty levels for players to defeat.

"We are very honored to work with GungHo and learn from the masters of free-to-play gaming," said Ilkka Paananen, CEO, Supercell. "The more time we spend with GungHo, the more we realize how remarkably similar our two companies are.  We are deeply committed to helping each other expand into new markets and equally committed to having an incredible amount of fun working together.”

A global blockbuster, Supercell’s Clash of Clans is a combat strategy game in which players grow and defend their villages by building and training troops, gathering resources, and teaming up with other players. Players claim a village and raise an army of Barbarians, War Wizards, Dragons, and other mighty fighters. Gamers can then join or create a clan with other players from around the world and rise through the ranks together in an MMO-style progression system.  Clash of Clans has ranked as the #1 grossing app overall on iPad in 135 countries, according to App Annie's Store Stats. App Annie also reports that the game held the #1 spot on the US’s top grossing iPad game charts for 104 consecutive days; the next closest game held the spot for 34 days. While the promotion runs, Clash of Clans will feature a Puzzle & Dragons cross promotion in its Inbox and Battle Log sections.

Hay Day reinvents the farming experience with smooth, gesture-based controls that mimic real-life farming actions and an open market that allows players to buy and sell goods just like a real farmer. Players manage the entire food chain—from the assembly of raw materials to the production of finished goods—using swiping controls that replicate the true activities of a farm. Hay Day has ranked as the #1 grossing app overall on iPad in 90 countries, and #1 in Games in 101 Countries, according to App Annie. During the promotional period, Hay Day will promote Puzzle & Dragons in its in-game newspaper and will also feature a Puzzle & Dragons game trailer in its multimedia theater section.

For more information on GungHo Online Entertainment America, visit www.gunghoonline.com. Fans can also follow on Facebook  and Twitter. For more information on Supercell, visit www.supercell.com.

Welcome Kristian Segerstråle to the Supercell Board!

I’m very excited to announce that Kristian Segerstrale is joining our board of directors.

Kristian is part of the Initial Capital team that led our very first round of investment in 2010, so he is already family. In fact, I’ve actually known him for more than 10 years while he was a co-founder at mobile game publisher Macrospace (later Glu Mobile), then as CEO and co-founder of social games leader Playfish, and most recently Electronic Arts, where Kristian was Executive Vice President, Digital.

What makes Kristian great for Supercell is his unique mix of product instinct in platform transitions and his operational experience growing companies big and small.  Kristian’s track record speaks for itself. He has grown two successful game startups, been part of a successful game company IPO, and served as a senior exec driving an aggressive transformation at a public game company. He has created successful operations across Europe, USA, China and Japan. And he has built and operated products across social and mobile platforms.

Very few individuals move as seamlessly between startups and large scale public companies as Kristian, and I would be hard pressed to find someone with a more valuable and relevant set of experiences to help us in our decision making as we navigate the challenges that lie ahead.

However, at Supercell we never focus on experience alone, and what really struck a chord with us was Kristian’s focus on talent and building winning company cultures throughout all his ventures – values that we cherish at Supercell. He also shares our passion to build a successful company for the coming decades and our focus on long term decision making accordingly. That and the fact that our house band really needed a keyboard player!

Welcome Kristian – I know we’ll have a lot of fun working together!

Epic Barcelona!

Supercell family has landed back to Helsinki from the most epic, memorable, outstanding, insane, incredible, fantastic, slightly surreal trip ever! (just to mention few words how Supercellians have described it..)

There must be as many stories as there were people attending the trip, so trying to describe all the things what people experienced during this amazing 6 days, would be a never ending story.

So, long story short.. This growing family of Supercellians all the way from our San Francisco office, got a chance to get to know each other a little bit better, brainstorm, hang out, laugh, dance, celebrate and not forgetting the most important thing: to enhance our company culture to the maximum!

The trip was awesome, but it’s time to get back to basics. So when we say we have landed back to Helsinki, we mean literally. It’s been hectic couple of days back at the office.

The memories from Barcelona will keep us smiling and the even tighter team will make us work even better!

Meet Jonas!

Presenting Jonas Collaros from Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States! (Fanfares!)

Jonas has been working in Finland for a bit over 7 years and signed on to Supercell in November, 2012, a short 6 months ago.

This man with "few" words tells us about himself, work at Supercell, Finland, Finns and a lot more!

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What do you do?

My official title is "Senior Server Developer" for the Clash of Clans team. That means I'm one of the coder monkeys who makes the gaming magic work over the intertubes for the millions of people who play the game every day.

Why Finland?

This is the #1 question I get asked, as if nobody can really believe it (including the Finns). After I graduated from an American university, I was insistent on finding a job in the games industry, though it turned out to be quite difficult. After almost a year without any success, life, love and good fortune drove me to visit Finland. Against all odds, I found a my first job opportunity at a small mobile games studio in Helsinki.

The reasons I've stayed in Finland are different from the reasons I came, though. Finland is an incredibly accommodating and progressively-minded place to work and make a living, and it's hard to imagine going back to the American working culture. Fun fact: In Finland, it's required by law for full time workers to take a minimum of two weeks vacation in the summertime, and people commonly take four.

Why Supercell?

I must admit sheepishly that I didn't really realize what an extraordinary and richly principled company I was joining until after I had done so. I was generously invited over by a couple of former colleagues during tough times at my former workplace (which happen all too often in the games industry). After joining, though, I felt right at home and like Supercell was the game studio I was hoping to find myself working at since the beginning. The values of the company speak to my own personal values, and it has been a brilliant fit.

What is the craziest thing about Finnish people?

Other than the fact that they enjoy eating licorice and salmiakki as children, the craziest thing I learned about Finnish people is how kind of... not crazy they are. You see, the United States is a big country, and most Americans I know haven't ever had the chance to visit outside of it. Places as far away as Europe can seem quite exotic to an unknowing American's eyes, so we can expect their people to be quite crazy and weird. When you visit and meet the people, however, you learn that our similarities far outweigh our differences - even if salmiakki is nauseating.

What is the most wonderful thing about Finnish people?

To an introvert like me, the Finnish lack of pretentiousness is their most appealing quality. Finns have a straightforward, honest and genuine way of speaking to and treating others that I find quite refreshing.

What do you like the most about your job?

Standing next to the day-to-day programming work is the hard to describe, overarching feeling of being active in the heart of a fun, lively and passionate game development team that has to be the best part of my job. I imagine many people who aspire to become game developers ache for this nebulous feeling of "being a game maker" far more than any specific technical work. It takes enormous amounts of patience, tedious work and attention to detail to do well, but there is nothing like the feeling of working together to build something fun, and seeing the end product you spent weeks or months helping to build get released to and enjoyed by players.

Who's your idol?

Idol is quite a strong word! I do have a couple heroes, though, one of whom is Carl Sagan. His patient, conscientious and encouraging demeanor and his ability to humanize, contextualize and convey beauty and fascination towards sciences, I think, should be a role model for scientists in every field. Another hero is Shigeru Miyamoto who, to me, has always signified and represented the pure and humble joy that can and should come from genuinely fun gaming experiences.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Only three words?

Birthday bash!

It was suppose to be just a regular Friday meeting at the office. We were all standing in the kitchen, sipping some coffee until two of our founders in pig and cow outfits walked in -  with some gorgeous cakes. Indeed! It's been a year already since Hay Day was first launched on the Canadian AppStore (beta version that is).

BUT it all started back in November 2011, when a small cell of 5 people started to work on project called "Soil". We never anticipated such a big success and we really just want to say thank you to all our players for making our days at the office worthwhile.

Thank you! Let’s keep the hay bale rolling and make those pies even tastier!

May Day!

In Finland, we go crazy over the first of May, which is one of our biggest holidays. To celebrate our national day off, we gathered our team to enjoy a brunch and some time together out of the office. So, on the 1st of May the Supercell crew, their loved ones, and family gathered together to eat, toast, and have some fun vappu-style.

Oh, and here's Finnish Vappu in a nutshell:

  • Young people go crazy on the eve of May Day
  • Everyone wears a hat that looks like something Pop'Eye the Sailor Man would wear (everyone gets one when they graduate from high school)
  • Vappu is the only “carnival-style” celebrated national holiday in Finland - and by carnival we mean colourful outfits, overalls, and people dancing on the streets
  • On 1st of May over 100 000 people gather together for a picnic in a park. In Helsinki, the place to go to is Kaivopuisto, an awesome park by the sea

You may have missed Vappu this year, but join us in 2014!

The EUROPAs in Berlin

Guten Tag from Berlin! Our PR person Heini has been traveling in Berlin this week to attend the EUROPAs awards, organized by the Web Summit team and Mike Butcher from TechCrunch. The event, recognized as Europe’s most prestigious startup event, was beautifully organized and gathered a crowd of hundreds of startup peeps.

Awards were handed out in 32 categories. The highlights of the evening included the best heavy, middle and lightweight, and the people’s choice award. We’d like to send our warmest congratulations to the winners of the categories Wonga, TransferWise, and Sketchfab. Congrats!!! We’re also super thrilled that a fellow game developer, Wooga, won the people’s choice award. Go team Wooga! See the list of all the winners here.

And a special congrats to the organizing team for a great event!

Auf Wiedersehn!

Happy New Year from Supercell!

The past year was extremely busy for us and we're expecting an exciting 2013! Several people have asked us to think back on what we’ve learned last year, and here are a few things that we came up with:

1) Best people make the best games. We’ve focused on finding the best, most talented and passionate people in game development, and giving them the freedom to build games they love. We work in small, independent teams where each individual is equally important.

2) Transparency and flat hierarchy. Being a smaller game developer, it’s important that our company culture is open and everyone knows what's going on. As Riku, one of our game artists put it, “we've been able to keep the same spirit over the years even though we have ten times more people than we used to”.

3) Razor-sharp focus! Drussila, Hay Day's current team lead pointed out that focus is much harder to do in practice than in words. It's less about what you do than what you don't do, and having focus means that you have to make tough decisions sometimes, and being able to fail fast. For example, we killed four game projects this year, focused on just two and they both became successful.

4) And last but not least, Supercell learned how to dance Gangnam style.

App Annie’s Index

Yesterday we received word and tweets that we passed EA as the top grossing app publisher, based on App Annie’s monthly index (in terms of monthly revenue). You can imagine that for a smaller game developer like us, this is huge news! We are super excited at the office but most of all we feel really humbled about the success of our games.

Today we’ve been asked about our “secret” a few times and the only answer we’ve been able to give is that it’s all about our culture and people. We work in small and extremely independent teams and there’s no bureaucracy here at all. We always keep our existing players as #1 priority and aim to create innovative, high-quality games that people want to play for long times.  And it all boils down to our motto: small is the new big. These results prove that even smaller game developers can do well against the giants of the industry.

Last and not least we wanted to say thank you to all our players, friends, and families for the support. Kiitos as we say in Finnish!

Thank you so much!

Supercell Plans To Release Multiple New Games For Mobile And Tablets In Q1/2012

ArcticStartup has posted an article about Supercell and upcoming products.

We had a quick talk with Paananen about the upcoming game. He disclosed that the company is actually working on multiple games at the moment and the company will introduce a new game next week as well. According to Paananen the games will be released in Q1 of 2012. More interestingly, these titles will also appear first on the mobile and tablet platforms instead of the traditional desktop computer

Read the full article here.

Players from around the globe join forces to form the ultimate Clan in Clash of Clans!

We’re super excited to announce the worldwide release of Clash of Clans, an epic combat strategy game now available for FREE on the App Store!

Claim your village and raise an army of Barbarians, Wizards, Giants, Dragons and other mighty warriors, then battle with others around the world.

Join an existing Clan, or create your own, and battle to dominate the realm. Use the in-game chat to strategize in real-time, donate and receive reinforcement troops used for attacking other players and defending your village and lead your Clan to victory!

Clash of Clans is now available for FREE on the App Store, and can be downloaded from here.